At-Home Reading Workshop

Hi friends. How are you feeling with this new world of at-home learning and social distancing? We’ve had to let go of a lot of our familiar routines and fun activities, and I miss my students and fellow teachers.

dolphinsBut while we’re home, we can still go exploring, travel to new worlds, and meet new friends through books. It’s my all-time favorite escape. So far I’ve spent time in a near-future America with a witch and a tech genius in All the Birds in the Sky, an adult novel by Charlie Jane Anders; I’ve been inside the mind of a young Cuban immigrant who was lost at sea and raised by dolphins in The Music of Dolphins, a middle grade novel by Karen Hesse; and I’m currently traveling between Germany, Brooklyn, and Israel from the 1930s to 1960s in Mother Night, an adult novel by Kurt Vonnegut. What are you reading? Want to share?

Below are a bunch of fun activities that I hope will help you enjoy sharing about the books you’re reading. Have fun! And feel free to share with me at – I’d love to hear about what you’re reading and see what you create!

Shelfies Project

  1. Watch Amy’s video on shelfies and bookstagram (6:46 min.):  
  2. Watch Amy’s Shelfie Slideshow:


  1. Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt: Explore the bookshelves in your house and then write about them in your Writer’s Notebook. How many bookshelves does your family have in your whole house? Do you have a bookshelf in your room? In the hall? Do you share a bookshelf with a brother or sister? Do you have any books left over from when you were a baby? What’s the BIGGEST book you can find? Can you count all of the books in your house? How do your parents organize their books? Do they have piles of books next to their bed? Do you have an office or a den? Are there newspapers or magazines
  2. In your Writer’s Notebook answer the Question of the Day: Do you prefer hardcover or paperback books? Why?
  3. Pick something you want to read, something you enjoy, and cuddle up and READ!

Bookstagram Project

  1. Watch the first five minutes of this middle grade Book Tour from Studio B (26:39 min.)
  2. Read Amy’s sample Bookstagram Doc:

Share your books!
Writers Notebook Options:

  • Draw the cover of your favorite book or the book you are currently reading and write a ‘Bookstagram’ paragraph about it. How are you liking it so far? Do you have any predictions or questions about what might happen? What other books does it remind you of? 
  • Draw a picture of your bookshelf and label the books.

Tech and Online Options:

  • Record a Shelfie video. Show us your bookshelf and point out a few of your favorites. Talk about them one at a time. What is the book about? What did you like about it? Do you have old favorites from when you were younger? Which is the most recent book you’ve read? 
  • Take a few pictures of your bookshelf and create a slideshow presentation in Google Slides. Use at least four slides to tell about your books.
    *Here’s a helpful video on How to Use Google Slides:
  • Create a Google Doc ‘Bookstagram.’ Take artistic pictures of your books with a cool background or in a stack of favorites. Write about the books as if you were writing a caption for your Bookstagram. Feel free to add hashtags.
    *Here’s a helpful video on How to Insert Photos in Google Docs:

Book Reviews Project

  1. Check out Amy’s recent Goodreads Reviews
  2. Watch one of the student book reviews below:
    The Last Kids on Earth (5:26 min)
    When We Go Walking (1:27 min) Chocolate Heart & more (4:27 min)
  3. Read book reviews on Scholastic. Click around and read multiple reviews, either by grade level or genre (type of book). Some reviews are very short. Others give more information. Think about what makes a helpful review.


  1. Writers Notebook Options: In your Writers Notebook write a review of a book you’ve read recently. How many stars do you give it? What was it about? What were the characters like? Who do you think would enjoy this book? Draw a scene from the book and write a caption explaining it.

    Tech and Online Options: On a Google Doc write a review of a book you’ve read recently. How many stars do you give it? What was it about? What were the characters like? Who do you think would enjoy this book? Feel free to add pictures that represent the book.
    Record your own book review video.
  2. Pick something you want to read, something you enjoy, and sit in a sunbeam and READ!

Extra Fun 

* Organize your bookshelf by color, or alphabetically by author, or by favorites, or whichever way feels important to you. Take a picture or video and share it.

book fort

* Look at this AMAZING book fort from Scottish Book Trust. Can you make your own book fort? If you don’t have enough books, maybe you can make a blanket fort with a book arch for a doorway.

*Listen to a read aloud or pick a story activity from one of these sites.